Advertising Self

Me for Sale

Our world runs on advertising. Homes for sale or rent, products to sell,  places to visit, services . . . we all find them through advertisements.

But advertising, as I was reminded quite painfully yesterday, can be false. (Where do people think of these scams?)

I’ve been thinking a lot about advertising lately, as I try to figure out how best to move forward into the next adventure of my life. I have to advertise myself. I have to advocate for myself as well. I have to promote and sell myself, and I simply don’t know how. I can do it for other people really well, but when it comes to self-promotion or self-advertising I feel out of my depth.

The above image is just a bit of silliness that I put together when I thought about this weeks “Weekend Theme” from Viewfromtheside’s Blog. Advertising plays such a crucial and somewhat manipulative role in our society that it is something worth thinking about.

The problem, for me at least, is that I cannot advertise falsely–especially when it comes to promoting myself. But there are so many people out there who have mastered the art of marketing themselves gloriously. I’m not saying they are all guilty of false advertising, but somehow I haven’t found the way that markets ME to the best of my ability.

Maybe I need to hire myself an advertising agency. But that requires something that I don’t have–$$$. Ah, the vicious circles of life.

How do you promote yourself?

Pursuing Passion and Creating a Life in a World Gone Mad

I have never really followed a traditional career path.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had tons of jobs, and have been successful at each one. Give me a challenge and I live up to it and surpass that challenge. Most of my employers would hire me back in a second.

But I’m not really a  9-5 kind of gal. I can work 40 hour weeks, and I often work more than that, but I function best in jobs that offer variety and flexibility. When I do have full-time office jobs with regular hours, I tend to fill my other time with other kinds of work to fulfill this need for diversity. At the same time, I try to go above and beyond expectations at the job itself so that I get interesting tasks assigned to me and get diversity in my regular work.

In academia, I’ve never had a tenure track position. It has nothing to do with the quality of my work, as I’ve been nominated for teaching awards, given classes and opportunities based on my work, and very rarely receive negative evaluations. Yet, when it comes to interviewing for tenure track positions, even if I make the cut of the top three, I don’t usually get the job. Why? I think it’s because people can sense that somehow I function better in a more fluid type of position, where I follow projects with passion because I choose too, not because I have to. Of course, this usually means that I work as hard or harder than many of the faculty who are tenure track–for less pay, fewer benefits, and less recognition. I do it because I care about my work and the people I work with–and at least I usually don’t have to attend quite so many meetings. That is a definite plus. I mean, meetings with a purpose I’m all for, but meeting to have meetings–not so much.

Why am I talking about this? As you know, we are planning a move to Massachusetts, which has its challenges. Finding housing seems to be the biggest one, so we are looking at the possibility of buying again. We have good credit. We have a down payment. Nathan has a job. But, as of yet, I don’t and that could limit the possibilities of what we are able to buy.

So, I spent the morning updating my LinkedIn profile, creating an on-line portfolio, sending letters to a few people, working on expanding my network, and trying to establish a more professional presence as I search for work to help us with this move. [I've been working so long on this computer that I just had to scrounge for a replacement battery for my mouse ;)] Of course, working on this project forces me to think about what I really want out of employment. Do I want the traditional regular hour job that comes with a secure paycheck and benefits? Or, do I want the gypsy lifestyle of a freelance worker that comes with no security, a smaller paycheck, and no benefits– but does allow for options, a flexible schedule, and projects that I choose?

The truth is I want both. But, I may not have a choice in the matter. Trying to take a little break from the work, I wandered over to Facebook only to stumble upon this thrilling news “‘Unemployed need not apply’” from PBS. Now I’ve never been unemployed (except for a few months after I graduated from my MFA program, and for a semester after having Sarah) or collected unemployment–because I’ve never been fired or downsized. I’ve always walked away from jobs because of moves or starting school or something legitimate. I’ve always left a job without burning bridges. But, ever since I graduated from my doctoral program, I haven’t had a traditional contract either.  I have worked full time for the most part, sometimes teaching more credit hours than tenure track faculty while directing shows and teaching outside classes. I have been given year-long contracts that can be renewed yearly. But I have not followed a traditional path of employment, so it looks like I’m a scattered gypsy that might be an insecure risk–even though anyone who has ever employed me would probably sing my praises.

Yet, today we live in world where people lose jobs while the rich get richer and get tax cuts. Then those same jobless people cannot get jobs because they have been unemployed, or because they have passed an invisible age line that seems to get younger and younger. In a ridiculous reflection of American society, which values youth and beauty over wisdom and learning, the system gets tougher as you get older.  Life-wise, 40 may be the new 20, but job-wise 40 is closer to retirement and redundancy–somehow out of touch with the fast-paced changes of the world.

I am not out of touch. I learn and I grow and I challenge myself on a daily basis. But on paper, I am someone who has gaps or a non-traditional resume.

So what is one to do to help secure a life and a home for a family while also living a fulfilling life in a world that doesn’t seem to want hard workers to work? Only time will tell in my situation, but the adventure is going to be an interesting one.

The Power of Social Media, College Networks, and Support Systems

I have made a discovery!

In my panic of the past few days as I struggle to figure out how to move a family from Kansas to Massachusetts in less than a month without having to give up my dog babies, I have tried to expand my search for both housing and work. I announced the move on Facebook. I’ve updated my LinkedIn profile. I joined an alumnae group for Smith College on LinkedIn. And I’ve written posts here.

An amazing thing has started to happen. No, I haven’t found a place to live or a house yet, but suddenly I feel less alone. First came the wonderful and supportive comments on my posts here. Then came e-mails from the alumnae group–one from the CDO at Smith offering to help me find work, and one from a Smithie who lives in the Worcester area, offering to just help me in any way she can. Then came comments from friends on Facebook offering to hook me up with job possibilities and ask around for housing.

I now have plans for coffee dates and lunch dates (and possibly a tree viewing trip to Maine in the fall). I have a tentative meeting (either on phone or in person) to help find work. I have a job possibility, and two rental possibilities that are a little out of our price range but are better than nothing. I feel like I am building a valuable  support  community that will make this transition smoother and more successful.

I don’t know if I have any blogging buddies in Massachusetts, but I’d love to hear from you if I do. Or anywhere in the North East for that matter, as this network is an important one too.

I always forget the power of networking and the power of admitting that you need help. I tend to think I have to figure it all out on my own, but the world doesn’t really function that way.

“It’s all about people. It’s about networking and being nice to people and not burning any bridges. ” Mike Davidson

“The way of the world is meeting people through other people.”  Robert Kerrigan

Really, I shouldn’t be so surprised by this, as I have often written about the connections that make this world such an intricate and interesting web of life.

So, I’d like to say thank you to the miracle of networking, the power of social media, the connections from all of my educational programming, and the wonderful support that people have offered me.

Now if I could only find  a place to live that will let me keep my dogs.

Birthday Wishes

English: Albert Einstein Français : portrait d...

Image via Wikipedia

I am reposting this birthday post from last year, because I think I should.

I don’t know what it is about March 14th but I know more people born on that day (myself included) than any other day of the year. It has never really just been my birthday, since I was born on my cousin’s sweet 16–which completely freaks me out when I do the math. One of my closest friends in college had the same birthday as well, which led to interesting celebrations involving kidnappings and late night diner adventures. On Facebook alone I have four friends celebrating their birthday today (the college friend included). Happy birthday to us all.

And of course, we are not alone, as there are numerous historical figures of all types who were born on this day, perhaps the most famous of which is Albert Einstein in 1879. I share my actual birthday with actress Megan Fellows who performed in Anne of Green Gables which is one of my favorite books and mini-series. There are also plenty of historical events including war and peace, joy and sadness.

But, let’s face it, the reason the day is important to me is because it is my birthday.

I admit, though, that I have a slight dread of birthdays now, as the years pile on and life becomes harder in some ways. I know that the looming date of my birthday has influenced the past week of posts, and I apologize for the kind of general gloom and doom of my recent posts.

But, I have decided ENOUGH OF THAT! I am going to chase those birthday blues away by putting some fabulous birthday wish energy out into the universe! It’s my birthday, I can wish what I want to. And what better place to do that then into the blogosphere?

The combined wish energy of all the people born today has potential power. So today, I am going to make birthday wishes for every year of my life–not just selfish wishes, but wishes that I hope will bring some wonderful things to this world. In case you are dying to know, that means 43 wishes. That’s a lot of wishes I think. I am not listing them in any particular order of priority, I just want to put that wish energy out there in the universe and see what happens. I recognize that some of my wishes are nearly impossible, but if we all put power behind our wishes maybe we can change the world.

Emma Thomson, Felicity wishes

So here goes:

  1. I am putting this one first because it is the most immediate. I hope that all goes well with my friend Elizabeth’s custody hearing today and her wonderful boys remain with their intelligent, beautiful, talented Mom.
  2. May the pain and suffering caused by natural disasters worldwide (especially in Japan now) bring this world closer to recognizing that we have to help and support each other rather than thrive on hatred and war. May the survivors be helped swiftly and gracefully. (Does that count as two wishes? I don’t think so.)
  3. I wish that Nathan, Sarah, and I could find the place/job/situation that we really want to call home soon (as in during this coming year).
  4. I wish that all of us with dreams of publishing find homes for our manuscript babies.
  5. I wish that my blogging family continue to grow and support each other, and create opportunities to meet, to create, and to expand our relationships.
  6. I wish that the government would come to its senses and leave women’s rights alone, embrace marriage equality for all, and support programming (such as the arts) that will strengthen our country, our educations system, and our health care. [This is probably my most unrealistic wish, I know ;) ]
  7. I wish that discoveries would be made to help bring my father back to us, even if only for a short time.
  8. I hope my whole family stays healthy this year.
  9. I wish that I could continue the path towards becoming healthier and getting control over my own weight. I would like to not have to be on medication for my whole life, so I want to lose weight, exercise and eat right to enrich the life of my entire family.
  10. I hope that Sarah embraces whatever changes may come, and learns to love the friends she has and live in the Now.
  11. I wish for puppets, lots and lots of puppets.
  12. I wish that Nathan and I could take that trip to Ireland that we have been wanting to take. And that all three of us can take a real vacation together somewhere fabulous.
  13. I wish that all the people I have met recently who are searching for their purpose or some change in their lives can find their bliss and create a world that fulfills them.
  14. I hope that I can write another novel without second guessing myself.
  15. I wish that Tori Nelson would get book contract and mention me on the acknowledgments page. :)
  16. I hope that my dissertation writing friends complete their dissertations, graduate with glory, and then move on to discover whatever it is they really want to do. :)
  17. I hope my brother is able to pursue his passions and find his way to move forward.
  18. I wish I could create a really beautiful piece of art. I’m not sure what kind, but I want to create something really wonderful.
  19. I wish I could have a weekend at a spa, treating myself to peace, quiet and massage.
  20. I wish that I could organize my time better, to allow for more time to read, to write, to create and to spend with my family.
  21. I wish for some fabulous adventures of all types with my family, including some adventures abroad.
  22. I wish whatever was plaguing my e-mail would be fixed soon [perhaps the easiest wish to solve]
  23. I know that it is unrealistic to wish nothing sad would happen over the coming year, but I hope the times of joy are more numerous than the times of sadness.
  24. I wish we could sell our house in Durango . . . SOON!
  25. I wish that I could have a house that I am allowed to decorate again, the way I would like to.
  26. I wish I could have a reunion with all my Durango friends who I miss so much.
  27. I wish that I could reunite with other friends that I have been thinking about a lot lately.
  28. I wish Sarah would embrace happiness.
  29. I would like a slice of my mother’s chocolate cake.
  30. I hope that we can get my older dog’s health issues under control so that we find fewer poop balls lying around the house.
  31. I wish that I would figure out my new dreams soon, so that I could then make them happen.
  32. I wish the economy would be better so that the unemployed will find employment.
  33. I wish for books, lots and lots of fabulous books.
  34. I wish that, as I lose more weight, I can finally begin developing my style again–a style all my own I’m sure, but one that I would like to have.
  35. I wish Jasper, my younger dog, would realize that home is better than running away.
  36. I wish I could ride a horse.
  37. I wish Sarah could ride a horse.
  38. I wish Sarah and I could take a mother-daughter belly dance class together.
  39. I wish I could learn to meditate, or at least find more inner peace.
  40. I wish to be “Furiously Happy.”
  41. I wish the war would end, and no more wars would begin.
  42. I wish for a warm cup of chai every day.
  43. I wish I could take more naps.

Wow! It was actually really difficult to think up 43 wishes. But its my birthday, and I can wish if I want to.

What do you wish for?


Saddened by Hate

Paper cranes prayers for peace. Peace Memorial...

Image via Wikipedia

I just read this post from a friend of mine on Facebook: “One of the political sites that I go to just posted a slew responses from people on FB to the Japanese earthquake saying, in effect, that it’s payback for Pearl Harbor. How awful can some people be? Sometimes I just don’t understand people.”

At first I was speechless, but now I need to write.

I then went over to amblerangel’s post to see if she had any more updates, and found a comment from another blogger asking if Japan was a communist country? (NO, it is not) If the US knew about Japan’s nuclear reactors (Yes,  the government did) and commenting that it might be a good thing that the reactors are being destroyed.

Now, I realize that comment may have been innocent and simply from lack of knowledge, but it made me angry, so now I need to write. I don’t even know if I can clearly express what I am feeling, but I’m going to try.

I apologize in advance if this offends anyone, but I cannot stand back and view words that come from lack of knowledge or hate anymore. I wish I could write this with only words of love, but sometimes our language fails us. Just know, that my only hope for this world is that we recognize that our mutual survival (and the survival of the earth itself) depends on us finding a way past hate.

Flashback #1, Hiroshima, Japan.

I spent the day wandering through the Peace Park and noticed the strings of thousands of colorful paper cranes piled up everywhere with school groups laying more all around and taking pictures, cheery smiles on their faces. I was unsure of the meaning until I came to the statue of Sadako, the base of which was nearly buried in the bright pieces of color. Sadako died of cancer caused radiation poisoning after the bombing of Hiroshima. As she lay in the hospital she started folding a thousand paper cranes in the hopes that if she reached a thousand she would live. She never made it, but her school friends folded the rest for her and raised the money to create a statue commemorating her to be displayed in the Peace Park.

That story stayed with me, and when Nathan and I got married we folded (with the help of others)  a thousand paper cranes as part of our decorations and invitations–a symbol of love, of hope and of peace.

That day in Hiroshima I witnessed the remnants of war, the shadows of bodies burned forever into stone. I watched the videos of lives devastated by the decision to drop a single bomb. I rang the bell representing peace and prayed that nothing like this would ever happen again.

But the most powerful moment was when I sat in a tea house and a Japanese man approached me. He said, “I am sorry that we made you drop the bomb on us. Please forgive us.”  He was apologizing to me for the senseless destruction caused by my country! I didn’t know how to respond. So later I wrote in my journal, and cried.

Flashback #2, Kyushu, Japan

A wonderful Japanese  family took me and another friend on vacation to an onsen (hot springs) in Kyushu. We stayed in a traditional Japanese hotel, complete with tatami mats and futons pulled out of closets for us at night. We ate incredible sashimi and sushi, including fugu (blowfish) a treat that I didn’t know about until after I ate it and felt the tingle of what can be poisonous on my lips. The fish melted in my mouth. We soaked in tubs that offered various experiences to help keep us healthy, including mud baths and carrot infused water. We ate in a large room that also allowed for karaoke for anyone interested.

It happened to be the anniversary of the day we dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. As we  sat having a meal an old Japanese man approached me and started speaking in angry tones, tears pouring down his wrinkled face. I did not speak much Japanese at the time, but the few words I was able to understand (and the translation provided by my hosts) made it clear. He was angry because I was American and because we had dropped the bomb and destroyed his family. As best I could, I apologized explaining that my family had nothing to do with that bomb or that decision, and that I too likely lost family during the war–to concentration camps throughout Europe. The family I was with defended me, and eventually the man walked away.

Inside my heart was broken. And today it hurts even more.

Nobody has Supremacy and Nobody Deserves Disaster

How dare anybody say that the events in Japan are payback?! While there are guilty people in every country, innocent people die for no reason–especially in war and natural disasters like this.  Statements like that make me ashamed to have been born in America. My birth here does not make me superior to anyone. Not even the people who are so blinded by their own superiority complex that they cannot recognize that we all should have equal rights in this world–including the right to live in peace, believing whatever we believe, and loving whoever we want to love.

How dare anybody assume that America has more right to controlling nuclear power than any other country? That is the responsibility of the world, not one single country. I have seen little evidence, recently, that the US has any moral supremacy that gives it any right to dictate how the rest of the world lives. We have made mistakes. Currently, this country is stripping rights away from people in ways that go against the very foundation and reason behind our country’s existence. Until we get our own act together, we have no right to judge or dictate how the rest of the world functions–or at least not from a position of superiority. (I’m sure this statement is going to put me on some list somewhere, but it is how I am feeling). As long as we allow hatred of difference and imagined superiority to rule our decision-making processes, we are no better than anyone else.

There is my political statement of the day. This is the message that comes from a broken heart that can no longer stand by and listen to words of hate. Now, the only thing I have left is tears.

Too Much on My Plate, But Not Enough Decadent Treats

fancy chocolate bar, cracked

Image via Wikipedia

As with many people, the New Year brings with it a new attempt at getting healthy. I refuse to say that I am dieting, because I am not. I am merely trying to stay focused on living a healthy lifestyle and taking better care of myself. If I think of this as a diet, then it is harder to follow to follow my first resolution of  Resolving to Forgive because I become obsessed with every time I break the diet and then cannot forgive myself.

So this is really about not eating in depression. Not eating in boredom. When I do snack, making healthy choices rather than empty calories full of sugar. Eating smaller portions. And becoming more active, which I realize is the key to my feeling better overall.

Easy right?

Yesterday I was doing well. I ate a healthy breakfast. I exercised. I prepared a big thermos of tea to help stave off the munchies. I ate small portions of healthy snacks.

And I worked. I worked at preparing syllabi. I worked at paying lots and lots of bills. I worked and worked and worked.

I like being busy. I like the challenge of having tasks that need to be completed. But yesterday, as I poured hours of thought into two classes (and I still have two more to go) deep inside I was resenting it. I resented the fact that I work as hard, if not harder, than many people I know, and yet when it comes down to pay I feel like I’m getting 2 cents an hour. I resented the fact that I have spent my life working, and that I am really good at what I do, but life has taken unexpected and somewhat unpleasant twists and turns. I resented the fact that, with all the work I was doing, I didn’t have time to write.

All of this boiled underneath my work until a friend saw that my Facebook was up (I forgot to close the tab) and started chatting. This friend seems to always bring me back to my senses. She was talking about her new dieting attempt and how it was hard to resist temptation.  I told her that she shouldn’t completely deprive herself. As I said this, bells began ringing in my head. Maybe my bad mood had a little to do with depriving myself.

I went to the hidden stash of chocolate and got two small squares of chocolate. I savored them. I ate slowly. I acknowledged the taste and the decadent sweetness.

And then I felt better.

Maybe it was simply low blood sugar, but I don’t think it was that alone. By allowing myself a little taste of decadence, I also allowed myself to honor myself. I don’t mean that I need to binge on junk; but I do need to treat myself with moments of pure bliss. In this case, bliss came in chocolate form.

So, what do I conclude from all of this? I know that I still need to work on forgiving myself for my perceived failures. I know that I need to listen carefully to my body and not deprive it completely. I know that I have to ration my work so that I don’t feel like I am pouring heart and soul into something where I then feel under-appreciated. I know that I have to allow time each day to exercise, and to do projects that are special to me.

And I know that sometimes it takes just a little bit of chocolate.

Auld Lang Syne(s) of Change Everlasting

#20 - Auld Lang Syne

Image by keishkakeishka via Flickr

Happy New Year, everyone.

This time of year is a time when everybody reflects on the past. It does not matter what holiday we celebrate, but we all talk about holidays past. We meet with old friends and/or family that we don’t see that often. Conversations abound with “remember when . . .? ” and “whatever happened to . . .?”

On New Year’s Eve we sing a song that asks us to reflect on the past as we take this tiny step into the future.  This is also the time of making promises to ourselves that we will lose weight, or make more time, or exercise or whatever doomed resolution we see fit to make.

This year, the auld lang syne of the holidays has taken on layers of meaning for me; some good, some not-so-good. We drove back to visit my family, especially my father who has Alzheimer’s. I wanted my daughter to have some time with Papa while he is still somewhat cognizant of who we are and has memories we can share. My husband wanted to borrow questions from StoryCorps to learn more about my parents lives, and so that our daughter could have an interesting conversation with a person who is living in Auld Lang Syne. It wasn’t totally successful, as my dad didn’t answer as many questions as I thought he would. I think he was overwhelmed, and we probably should have tried again. Surprisingly, my mother answered some of the questions and we all learned a few surprising things.

On the way, we stopped to visit a high school friend of my husband’s who became an instant friend when she and I met long ago. We wanted our daughter’s to meet (who are only a couple of months apart). Instant sisters, and a little trip down memory lane that takes us into tomorrow.

My next step into Auld Lang Syne came with a mini-reunion of college friends. For me, this revealed some things to me which I wish I had done a little differently (like maybe become closer to those people rather than filling the spot of pathetic tag-along with other’s). It lead me to understand that I have changed in many ways, and I believe they are for the better. But it also made me recognize that I can only move forward by forgiving myself and letting go of the past.

This led to a resolution Resolving to Forgive which will truly change, and improve, my life if I can keep it.

Another journey into Auld Lang Syne was the scheduled reunion of high school drama friends. A large group of us were going to meet but it got postponed because of the blizzard, so eventually only a few people were able to come. The original planning of this gathering really struck a chord with me, as people seemed to leap on the chance to get together, or expressed utter dismay at having to miss it. This, I think, is a result of Facebook entering our lives. The one thing we all have in common now, although many of us are still in the arts, is that we have reconnected through a social media. As excited as I was to see everyone, and as disappointed as I was when the plans fell through, I had this niggling thought in the back of my mind. Why are we so interested in doing this? Why do we seek the connections or ties that stretch back into history when I am sure that we have all moved on from?

Auld Lang Syne.

For me, there is some comfort in talking to people who knew me when . . . when  I was filled with youthful optimism, when we lived a life of potential, when my patterns were only beginning to be established. The past is a place of memory wrapped in warm fuzzy-ness, even the reality wasn’t that spectacular. I wanted to share that past with my daughter in the hopes that it will make her future also be filled with warm thoughts of the past.

This trip has been full of memorable moments that I hope my daughter will hold in her heart as these times become Auld Lang Syne. As we prepare to get back on the road and head into our current reality, which for me feels like a pause before we move onto the future. This trip has been full of complex feelings and emotions all of which can be summed up with one simple phrase. I think you already know it.

Auld Lang Syne!

Knitting Warm Words

Wrap, wrap, wrap.

Hook, hook, hook.

Repeat.

My new obsession is this knitting loom which allows me to make cute hats in a short amount of time. Most of them have turned out pretty well, except for the one I made for my husband where I got a little carried away and added a few too many inches. He likes it though.

I call it an obsession because, as often happens when I get inspired by a new project, I have focused on this and ignored other things I have been doing. Like writing. I’ve been writing in this or my other blog  (http://pppwritingpractice.wordpress.com/) daily, sometime several times a day. I’m not saying that everything I have written is brilliant. Some of it is total garbage. But, just the practice of daily writing has helped me focus on other aspects of my life.

But then, I discovered the calmness of wrapping warm yarn around a loom. Wrap, wrap, wrap. Hook, hook, hook. No thought. Romantic comedies that I have watched a million times playing in the background. Or maybe a schmaltzy Christmas movie. I enter  a zone of calm peaceful achievement that I have not felt in a while.

Yesterday, I thought, I should really work on developing my classes for next semester, especially the new ones. But, no. The soft yarn slides through my fingers, beckoning me sweetly to create another hat. Wrap, wrap, wrap. Swish, swish, swish. Hook, hook, hook. Classes do not start until January 11th, I have time.

Or, I should be planning for the musical which I start directing as well. A show that is already filling my nightmares with images of my own insecurities. But instead I relish the warm colors, browns, greens, reds, blending together to create something new.

This morning, as I knit,  I realized I haven’t written since I vented my anger at the evil hackers who added more stress to my days. I know I tend to write more when I have something to vent, rather than focusing on positivity and joy.  The swish and tickle of the yarn spoke to me, write words of warmth, write words of peace, write of kindness.

So here I am, the knitting at a pause and all I can write about is knitting.

I feel like that’s a good thing. Now, however, it is time to go back to

Wrap wrap wrap

hook hook hook.

See you in the warm comfort of words, if I don’t get buried in hats.

Technologically Violated

Monumento alla difesa di Casale, bronze sculpt...

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It’s not funny anymore. In fact it is downright creepy.

When the person who hacked into my husband’s e-mail account started communicating with a wonderful long time friend and using my name, my daughter’s name, and my sister’s name he (or she) crossed a line. Now I am mad, but I’m also scared.

Have we become too reliant on technology? I know, it is kind of strange question to ask while I am typing on a computer into the blogiverse; my writing fix fulfilled by reaching out through technology to unknown readers. While I am fearful of technology, I am addicted to it.

I guess the real problem isn’t technology but humans. Humans are the ones who corrupt technology in the name of greed or improvement. Humans are the ones that relish the victory over others that comes with more power, or in our case with the ability to take over a simple e-mail account and disrupt lives.

So while I have been violated technologically, it was ultimately done with human hands.

Is this just more evidence of the overall corrupt nature of humans?

I hate that I am thinking like this. I know it is an over-generalization that all humans are corrupt figures that will leap on a tiny glimmer of advantage. But everything I read lately reflects on this mindless evil of people with power over people with less power. Why can’t we just accept each other and leave each other alone?

Right now, the anger is rising in me. But, I refuse to become one of the corrupt. I choose to pursue kindness and caring. However, this does not me I will like down without a fight and let the world walk all over me.

Whoever this creep is, he/she has taken something valuable from us. No not money. Not friends. But a feeling of safety.

I do not want to feel afraid every time I turn on my computer, just as I don’t want to feel afraid walking out the door.

So here’s a message to all the creeps in the world.; whether you are a master at hacking into technology or someone who intimidates physically or spiritually. STAY AWAY FROM ME!!! I’m angry. I’m not going to take it anymore. I am only going to welcome positive people in my life, and you have NO POWER over me.

Got it?

I will fight to make this world a better place. I will not let creeps like this take me down.

Anyone care to join me?

Meaningful Messages

Puzzle globe (partial view)

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Have you ever had one of those days where the universe seems to be sending you an important message, but the message is hidden in symbols so complex that you just can’t figure it out? It’s like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that don’t quite fit together yet. Or maybe a couple of pieces are missing. If you can get them together, the image is going to be something you never imagined.

Today is one of those days. It started off normal, except for this inner feeling of strangeness.

Then, I watched Bones on Hulu, and nearly sobbed when Brennan realized what she wanted and couldn’t have. Or, more importantly, that she didn’t want to have regrets.

From there I watched the surreal claymation version of Community which, in its typical fashion, uses sarcasm and humor to reach some real truths. The truth for me was that everyone is searching for something at this time of year; a sense of belief or a feeling of belonging. Sometimes a combination of both.

Next I log onto Facebook and find a friend who has not been on for a long time. She posted this Huffington Post article James Baraz: Can We Afford Joy in a World of Suffering? which made me think about a life without joy. Actually it made me recognize how often I live my life without joy. That’s not a good thing.

Next, I check my work e-mail to find a message from a friend commenting about my husband looking like a five-year-old (oops, she asked me not to say anything, but he won’t mind . . . he knows). That comment made me laugh out loud, and think about the joys of childhood.

I went back to FaceBook and starting chatting with a friend. We ended up talking about forgiveness, especially the need to forgive ourselves. This then led to my friend saying “emit goodness and goodness will come.”

Words of brilliance in a simple chat.

Next, I hear a strange jingle and bump at the front door. Is it Santa coming for a chat? No, it is my incredible escape artist dog knocking on the front door to come in. I didn’t even know he was gone. And of course, rather than get angry I had to laugh.

Finally, I make a (slightly belated) presentation about Chanukah for my daughter’s second grade class. The questions they asked were complicated. Why did the war start? Why did they leave a mess? etc. The teacher did not want to go into detail about those issues, but we did say that is was people being mean to other people for being different.

None of these stories are related, and yet somehow there is a message in there. It is about finding joy in who you are and embracing the things that make you different. It is about making connections with life. It is about living. And yet, the message is still unclear.

Sometimes I really wish for a blazing message written across the sky.

But for now I will just have to settle for jigsaw puzzles.

So, what is the message the universe is sending me today?